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Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

miami, florida
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194 posts
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Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

Originally my plans were to visit Sicily in May, but I waited too long to purchase my airline tickets and prices have skyrocketed. I am now considering going later in the year, perhaps in September. I am undecided, because I have read that it is hot, it thunders and rains. One post I read described the island as "brown" during September. Can someone describe how the island looks and what is the temperature like in September. I definitely want to avoid the heat and humidity. I am still searching for reasonably priced flights in May, but I seriously doubt I will find any.

Also, I need some help on finalizing the number of days in each city. Here are the areas I want to visit and what I want to see. I am not sure if I have the correct number of nights, so I welcome your feedback on this. Our main interests are beautiful scenery, trying the local food and wine and experiencing the different towns.

Taormina - 3 nights

Visit to Etna - cablecar and 4WD Jeep tour

Isola Bella - boat ride into the Grotta Azzura and around Isola Bella

Castelmola

Gola dell' Alcantara

Visit a winery - slopes of Etna

Siracusa - 3 nights

Visit Ortygia, Noto and Ragusa

Aeolian Islands - 2 nights

Lipari - base

Boat tour, sunset excursion to see Stromboli at night

Boat tour around Lipari and Vulcano

Quattrochi

Panarea - optional

We will mostly be walking the towns and visiting sights and we will be using public transportation.

I am flexible with my number of days, so if needed I can add a couple of days.

I will be flying into Catania from the mainland. From Catania I plan on going to Taormina, then the Aeolians, then Siracusa. Am I allowing sufficient days to do what I want to do? Considering transportation time from one place to another are the days sufficient?

Vagabonda, thanks for all your posts. Your advise has helped me tremendously. What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks to everyone who offers their time on this forum.

palermo
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for Palermo
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1. Re: Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

It can vary from year to year, but generally september is one of the best months to visit Sicily. It can be hot at times, especially the first half, but usually less unbearable than in july/august (25-30 celsius at daytime on the coast). Thunderstorms are possible, (usually) short, and they are welcome because they clean up the air...but there are frequent (and long) dry spells.

Don't know what brown means in this context...maybe the landscape? In this case, midsummer is much more "brown":-)

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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2. Re: Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

Prego luv2travelMiam525 - It's been my pleasure!

It's not too late to purchase tickets for May. Alitalia typically runs sale fares in Spring. Typically the sweet spot for buying tickets is two to three months prior to departure, but no guarantees!

May and September are two of the loveliest months to visit Sicily.

Early September can still be quite hot and the seas are warm for swimming after summer's heat. Autumn brings thunderstorms, but generally short-lived, even if dramatic. The landscape is browner in autumn after summer's heat as well.

May brings long hours of sunshine, wildflowers, but chilly seas.

This earlier thread discusses this topic.

tripadvisor.com/…37923917

If you are flexible with your number of days, and especially considering public transport, then add an additional day to Taormina, and an additional day to Siracusa, but especially Siracusa, since you would spend your first day arriving from the Aeolians, and there's a lot to see and do in Siracusa in addition to your intended day trips.

The Etna tour could be a half or full day tour, and also combined with a winery. You might also combine the winery with a Gole Dell'alcantara tour, but you could take Interbus to Gole Dell'alcantara on your own as well. You can easily explore Taormina, Isola Bella, and Castelmola on your own. Interbus runs the bus service between Taormina and Castelmola.

Wineries are located in the countryside, and would require a tour.

Wineries without a car:

tripadvisor.com/…42525685

And you would also appreciate at least one additional night on the Aeolians. It's always best to allocate a little extra time for the Aeolians to safeguard against suspended ferry service, and also considering your transport time from Taormina to Lipari.

Many Stromboli-by-Night tours skirt Panarea, but you would require a day to explore Lipari and travel around the island, and then another day for boating around Lipari and Vulcano, and the earliest you would arrive on Lipari from Taormina would be midday.

Best regards,

Vagabonda

miami, florida
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194 posts
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3. Re: Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

Thanks Biondo.I believe you are right they must be referring to the landscape. I have experienced this in the Washington DC. In late spring it is green, but I have gone during other times and it looks like a different city - the landscape is bare and brown. To me it is quite ugly and this is what I am trying to avoid.

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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4. Re: Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

Yes luv2travelMiam525, it is in reference to the landscape, and it's also beautiful, but different from the landscape in spring.

Vagabonda

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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5. Re: Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

Sicily in spring - http://goo.gl/iySsUS

Sicily in autumn - http://goo.gl/XtXpBB

Vagabonda

palermo
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for Palermo
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6. Re: Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

It depends also on the altitude...generally landscapes are dry and brown (especially inland, less so on the coast) from early june to mid september, when usually landscapes turn green again, bu this can vary a bit from year to year.

going high up the mountains, it's possible to find greenery even in summer (usually above 1000 mts, on Nebrodi , Etna and Madonie mountains)

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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7. Re: Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

Remember that autumn also brings the harvests and by October, the red and oranges are very beautiful!

Vagabonda

8. Re: Help With Last Minute Decisions to Finalize Trip

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